Oh my gosh, here we go again with Water Conserving Plumbing Fixtures. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Written by Posted On Friday, 28 October 2016 16:40

Let’s talk about Non-compliant plumbing fixtures again.  I know that I talked about this a while back but I have been talking to others in the business about this issue as well.  Just to make sure we are on the same page, we are talking about the new law that will become effective on Jan. 1, 2017 which basically says that all homeowners, whether selling or not, must update their homes with drought compliant plumbing fixtures.  Now if you home was built after 1994, you are okay and don’t need to do anything but if your home is older then you need to swap out your older fixtures.  Please refer to one of my previous posts for flow rates on the different fixtures.

What is really dumb about this whole thing is that it is not a point-of-sale requirement.  It is simply required for all California homeowners.  In other words if you own a home, the installation of WCP (water conserving plumbing) fixtures is required as Jan 1, 2017 regardless of whether you are selling your home or not.  So, plan on changing those old fixtures out if you want to be California Civil Code compliant.  Homeowner’s that don’t change them aren’t going to jail because who’s going to know anyway, right.

So, when it does come time to sell your home here is what will happen.  The California Association of Realtors’ legal department has come up with, thankfully NOT a new form to fill out but a new question on an existing form.  It simply asks the homeowner if the plumbing fixtures have been updated to WCP fixtures, yes or no. Here is where it’s going to get sticky.  Perhaps you have changed the faucet in the guest bath, the master bath and you’ve changed the toilet in the master bath but not in the guest bath.  In this situation you have no other option but to state “no” on the question.  There is no option for some of the fixtures have been changed just yes or no.  Why is this a problem?????  Here’s why.  Buyer reads that question and sees that you have answered “no”; WCP fixtures have not been installed.  Now the Buyer of your home wants them changed out, by a professional all at your expense because it’s the law. 

Well you say, I have already changed out the faucets but that won’t matter, get ready to change them again because nowhere on the faucet does it state when the faucet was made or the flow rate.  On the toilets it does state the flush but not on faucets or overheads.  So, you could be forced to re-install new fixtures by a professional and show the receipt for proof.  This could amount to several hundred dollars or more.  The form should have an option for if the answer is no the check this box and write and explanation, rather than letting the Buyer assume that all the fixtures are non-compliant. 

Ok, still not satisfied.  How about if you just bought an older home say five years ago.  Now you want to sell.  How do you know that all fixtures are WCP fixtures?  You don’t, so how do you answer that question on the form.  Well you have no option but yes or no so “no” has to be the answer because you’re not sure.  Then the Buyer wants them all changed by a professional at your expense.

The warning here is if you think you’re going to sell your home next year or ever, then this is something you want to take into consideration when you get ready.  You don’t want to be held hostage by your sink while in the middle of selling your home.  It is a relatively simple and inexpensive thing to take care of provided you do it before you are in escrow with a Buyer. 

By the way didn’t we just get well over  8 inches of rain and it’s still raining??????


If I can help you with buying or selling a home in El Dorado County, please call, text, email or shoot of a flare or something because I can help you.  Thanks John. 530-306-3494

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